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Jolina Pettice

Are Bad Directions Leaving Web Visitors Stranded? Optimize For Outcomes to Improve Experience & Conversions

Jolina Pettice on Apr 23rd, 2013     Conversion Optimization, Online Marketing, Search Engines

At some point, most of us have been lost. We know our ultimate destination, but either through a wrong turn or poor directions we find ourselves in the wrong place and likely very frustrated.

Without landing page optimization, your visitors may have this same lost feeling when they arrive on your website. Whether the content was written 10 days or 10 months ago, it’s easy to make assumptions about your website visitors and assume the directions (read: content and calls to action) you are providing make sense.

If anyone has ever given you directions based on landmarks (turn right at the gas station) you can understand this feeling. And ultimately you are unsure and have questions such as: what gas station, what if there is more than 1 and good grief why didn’t you just give me the street name?

Lee Odden

5 Online Marketing Essentials for Small Business Marketers

Lee Odden on Mar 26th, 2013     Blogging, Content Marketing, Online Marketing, SEO, Social Media

America the Digital

As new businesses are started every day across the U.S., many of those entrepreneurs are grappling with the realities of how to market their ideas, products and services.

Limited resources and an overabundance of options requires filtering and prioritization when it comes to where marketing investments are made, whether it’s content, blogging, social media, or SEO.

Common questions include: What to measure? What if it fails? What should we outsource?

Here are a few answers to those questions that I was asked as prep for an interview:

What advice do you have for business owners or entrepreneurs who are staying out of blogging and/or social because they don’t feel they can produce enough content on a regular basis to keep things interesting?

Miranda Miller

Online Marketing News: Top CEOs in Social, Facebook to Solve Attribution Problem with Atlas

Miranda Miller on Mar 1st, 2013     Online Marketing News

The Tweets from the Top - CEOs in Social Media

Oprah, Rupert Murdoch Most Influential CEOs in Social Media (or Infographics: This Is How You Do It)

In a brilliant display of content marketing prowess, TopManagementDegrees.com has released a caricature infographic illustrating the 40 CEOs most influential in social media. Oprah tops the list with a Klout score of 92, followed closely by Rupert Murdoch at 91, which just goes to show that social influence is not a popularity contest.

Virgin’s Richard Branson, HDNet’s Mark Cuban, and Jack Dorsey of Square round out the top 5. The top 40 is rife with the usual suspects; tech and marketing CEOs from Twitter, Salesforce, Foursquare, Dell, LinkedIn, etc. One surprising find: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg failed to break the top 50.

Miranda Miller

Online Marketing News: Google’s Look at the Buying Journey, Brand Marketers Failing at Localization

Miranda Miller on Feb 22nd, 2013     Online Marketing News

Google Holiday Infographic Buying Journey

Google Analyzes Consumer Device Preferences: Insight Into Mobile Purchasing Journey

Google has just released a blog post and infographic sharing insights into consumer shopping behavior over the recent 2012 shopping season. In many cases, Google said, consumers discovered a business on one device, for example on their smartphone while in a store, and would then engage further with that business on another device at a later time.

It is critical that companies understand the various entry and touchpoints during their customers’ buying journey, then optimize existing and new content to fulfill needs at each point. Your own data will always be most valuable, though the industry trends companies with access to as much relevant data as Google has can be helpful, as well. For example, they found that smartphones were the preferred device for contacting or navigating to a business with 71% of shoppers using a store locator on their phone, while 82% of shoppers used a larger device like PC or tablet for making online purchases. Is your content, whether written, visual or video, currently optimized for mobile formatting and consumption?

Evan Prokop

SEO for Ecommerce Websites – Managing the Duplicate Content Beast

Evan Prokop on Jan 16th, 2013     Online Marketing, SEO

Man in 3D GlassesThe rise of ecommerce websites has heralded a new era of convenience for consumers, as well as the most powerful tool for retailers since electricity. However, ecommerce sites bring with them a host of SEO challenges that can quash any hopes of being found in organic search.

Fortunately, with a little foresight and a bit of technical knowledge, ecommerce retailers can maximize their SEO potential and literally rise above the competition (in the search results), resulting in more customers and increased sales.

Duplicate Content

The single biggest SEO challenge for ecommerce sites is duplicate content. While nearly every modern website can be subject to this issue, the characteristics of most ecommerce websites tend to have every attribute that typically results in duplicate content.

Miranda Miller

Lee Odden’s War of Words: Myth-Busting Social, Content Marketing & SEO at NMX

Miranda Miller on Jan 9th, 2013     BlogWorld NMX, Content Marketing, Online Marketing, SEO, Social Media

Lee Odden answers audience questions about content marketing, social media and SEO.Our CEO at TopRank Online Marketing, Lee Odden (@leeodden), shared his War of Words: Myth-Busting Social, Content Marketing and SEO yesterday at NMX Las Vegas.

The premise of Lee’s presentation was actually crowdsourced; the title War of Words comes from H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds, which was turned into a radio program by Orson Wells and spawned a mass fear that Mars aliens were on their way to take over Earth. There is much misinformation in content marketing, social media and SEO that the hype spreads much like the alien myths of days gone by, says Lee.

Lee Odden

War of Words: Myth-Busting Search Engine Optimization

Lee Odden on Dec 27th, 2012     Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, SEO

Mythbusting Search Engine Optimization SEOIn last week’s post about myth-busting social media, I asked what other marketing tactic or channel has attracted as much conjecture, blind advocacy and malarkey.  Only SEO can compare to social media when it comes to the volume of misperceptions and out-dated information posing as “best practices” online.

They say that the only things you can count on in life are death and taxes. Also, that search engines will change.

Google runs over 20,000 experiments per year and at any given time, 50-200 different versions of Google’s core algorithm are helping billions of searchers find what they’re looking for.   Add to that, personalization by location, past search history and the influences of the social graph and you have one of the most complex and fast changing systems ever created.

Lee Odden

A Strategic View of Search Engine Optimization – Where Does SEO Fit in Your Content Strategy?

Lee Odden on Nov 19th, 2012     Online Marketing, Optimize Book, SEO

strategic search engine optimizationCompanies large and small, in industries from retail to manufacturing, publish content online with an expectation that a certain audience of people will find, read and act on that content.  While most Search Engine Optimization efforts are rightly focused on marketing goals like acquiring more customers and increasing revenue, making purchases is not the only reason consumers use search or ask for referrals through social networks.

There’s a lot of tactical advice online about search, social media and content marketing for companies that want to better connect with customers but that advice doesn’t always consider the differences between types of companies or even content within companies. For the best return on marketing investment, it’s important to understand that there are notable differences in tactics for effective optimization depending on who the audience is, how they prefer to discover, consume and act on information.  The very nature of B2C vs. B2B or small company vs. large company content, audience and outcomes can be different, so the approach to optimizing content for search and social media must be tailored accordingly.

Lee Odden

Social Media Links – How SEO and Social Work Together for Link Building

Lee Odden on Jul 11th, 2012     Link Building, Online Marketing, SEO, Social Media

social linkingJust about every day I do a Q and A with someone new related to Optimize, online marketing in general or about topics related to our agency’s marketing consulting practice. It might be prep for a journalist interview, blogger interview, Twitter chat or helping a friend out with a book like the Q/A below for Rob Garner (VP at iCrossing and SEMPO board member).

Q/A is a great format since so much of search and social media based content discovery is about answering questions.  Editorial calendars for blogging are useful, but new topics add some nice flavor to the theme. Social linking for example. I don’t use that term at all, but the practices and outcomes involved are absolutely relevant to connecting consumers with brands for business.

Lee Odden

Break Free of Bad SEO Advice – Optimize for Customers

Lee Odden on Jun 28th, 2012     Online Marketing, Online Marketing Strategy, SEO

break free bad seo adviceDespite years of warnings from Google and especially from search quality guy, Matt Cutts, there’s a certain segment of internet marketing consultants that continue to give out bad advice:  SEO shortcuts, tricks and loopholes with manufactured content and buying links to gain an artificial advantage that runs contrary to Google’s Guidelines.  Complicating matters is the fact that large numbers of companies are taking that advice in their rush to win traffic and sales.

The result? Getting penalized, removed from the index or other consequences affecting visibility of their content in search. From the Florida update almost 10 years ago to the Panda and recent Penguin updates, it’s clear Google is committed to narrowing down what kinds of SEO tactics can have an explicit impact on search visibility in their quest for quality.

Lee Odden

9 Steps towards Optimized Content Marketing Nirvana #sesto

Lee Odden on Jun 11th, 2012     Content Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, SEO

optimized content marketing nirvanaSearch Engine Optimization has been around for at least 15 years and has undergone many changes as search technologies and consumer behaviors evolve. At the same time, Content Marketing has captured the attention of companies and consultants in many industries as one of the latest areas of focus for better digital marketing performance.

As a practitioner of SEO and Content Marketing for many years, it’s interesting to see SEOs work to get their arms around building more content focused search marketing strategies. At the same time, content marketers are evolving their skills at SEO to attract qualified traffic to all the great content being created.

Brian Larson

Linkbuilding Like a Nerd #SESNY

Brian Larson on Mar 27th, 2012     Link Building, Online Marketing, Search Engine Strategies, SEO

Linkbuilding EssentialsLinkbuilding has to be one of my favorite aspects of SEO. All too often people use the analogy of linkbuilding being a popularity contest. As someone who views linkbuilding in a somewhat different light – and as someone who was considered by only his parents as ‘cool’ – I think it’s time to put that analogy to bed. Yes, being the sexy-fun brand will undoubtedly drive links for your site. But in my opinion, it’s the quality of the information on the page that will not only help you succeed in proactively acquiring links, but will also inspire others to link to your page. Or to return to the analogy, the cool kid might start out with the lead, but it’s the smart kid (see nerd) who ends up winning in the long run.

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